Certainly no one expects a TV of this caliber to be packed with features or present a dazzling picture, but there are still expectations that the LB560B fails to meet.
For all of its shortcomings, however, it's still an affordable TV that gets the job done. It won't bowl you over, but if you fit into the narrow group of people that this TV is aimed at, you might find it to be a sensible option.
We test our TVs before and after calibration in order to compare their out-of-the-box performance with that of their full potential. The amount of calibration we carry out depends entirely on how extensive a TV's menu software happens to be.
Thankfully, LG generally outfits their TVs—even the entry-level and mid-range models—with a thorough set of tools for a calibrator. I was able to make adjustments to the LB560's 2- and 20-point white balance as well as its color points via the TV's color management system.
The image on your TV is created by red, green, and blue sub-pixels working in harmony. Neutral shades (black, white, and gray) are representative of all three of these sub-pixels. By measuring a TV's grayscale (0 IRE to 100 IRE) we're able to determine how evenly each color—red, green, and blue—is being emphasized. An over- or under-emphasis of one or more sub-pixel will lead to a TV's neutral shades being polluted with color.
We measure the amount of error present in a TV's grayscale with DeltaE, with a DeltaE of 3 or less being the ideal. Prior to calibration, the LB560B had a terrific DeltaE of 3.13. After taking advantage of the TV's 2- and 20-point white balance controls, I was able to knock this number down to an impressive 0.73.
A closer look at the RGB performance across the grayscale reveals the LB560B's initial, pre-calibration struggles: a minor-but-steady over-emphasis of blue from around 30 IRE to the TV's reference white at 100 IRE.
Nothing new from LG—but that's not necessarily a bad thing
From a design standpoint, the LB560B falls right in line with the rest of LG's 2014 entry-level and mid-range lineup. Like the LB6000 and the LB5600, the LB560B features a narrow, gunmetal gray-colored bezel that rests atop two angular, wide-set feet.
I've expressed my appreciation for this design in the past, and my feelings haven't changed in the slightest. The thin bezel combined with the minimal design of the stand causes the panel to pop off whatever backdrop you've placed it in front of.
There's also something to be said for the uniqueness of the look, which avoids the homogeneity of the industry's penchant for the black-panel-on-a-square-black-stand look, especially among cheap TVs.
The LB560B's remote control is also identical to the ones we've previously seen in LG's 2014 entry-level and mid-range model. It's nothing to write home about, but then again, it doesn't need to be; the LB560B has no need for anything more than the basic control set. And were this TV equipped with a smart platform, the price would be significantly higher.
On the back of the TV's panel, you'll find component/composite inputs, a coaxial jack, RS-232C, and a USB port. If you're looking to hook up multiple devices to this TV, take note: The LB560B only has two HDMI ports. That shouldn't be an issue for most, but if you are planning on adding something like a Chromecast to this set, it'll occupy one of those ports.
A deep, rich black level—and to a lesser extent a bright reference white–are the cornerstones of a quality picture. This measurement (reference white divided by black level) is known as a contrast ratio. A great contrast ration doesn't necessarily equal a great picture, but a great picture cannot exist without a sub-par contrast ratio.
Given the relatively poor black levels of previous entry-level LG TVs, I was surprised to measure a commendable black level of 0.047 cd/m2 . Combined with a peak white of 152.7 cd/m2 , the LB560B features a respectable contrast ratio of around 3249:1.
It won't be the star of your living room.
The biggest mark against the LB560B's picture is its resolution, which tops out at 720p. And though it's easy to justify the lack of a smart platform in a 32-inch, entry-level TV, it's difficult to justify the fact that the LB560B doesn't achieve full-HD status. That said, for consumers hunting for a TV in this price range, the LB560B's price tag might trump its 720p resolution.
Another thing to consider is how far away you're planning on sitting from the TV. At 32 inches, the decreased pixel density of the panel may not be visible if you're sitting more than 7-8 feet away. If you're closer than that, a 1080p set will likely look sharper.
Unfortunately, from a sheer performance standpoint, the LB560's picture is a constant reminder of its exceptionally low price. Despite relatively accurate color production, colors on the LB560B don't exactly "pop" the way you want them to, and this washed-out look is especially noticeable in bright, highly-stylized content.
The LB560B also struggled to accommodate scenes of fast-paced motion, and while I didn't notice any messy blurring, the TV rendered action in a juttery, staccato fashion. These reasons–along with the TV's lack of full-HD resolution–make it a poor choice for people who intend to do a fair amount of gaming.
But let's keep things in perspective: This is a $250, 32-inch TV. Its picture is flawed, but consider the alternatives.
And a word about calibration: For the type of TV the LB560B is, it has significantly more customization options than you'd expect. While this is of more use to calibrators than most consumers, it does let you improve the picture somewhat. For more on this—including our calibration settings—check out the science page.
One look at the LB560B's price tag and it's easy to see the appeal. The Panasonic TC-32A400U, for example, is priced the same and doesn't hold a candle to the LB560B. And then there's the Hisense 32H3, which is significantly cheaper than the LB560B, but managed to be the worst entry-level TV we reviewed last year.
Alternatively, the Sharp LC-32LE551U is around $60 more than the LB560B, and edges it out from a performance standpoint. The LC-32LE551U also has the luxury of calling itself a full-HD TV.
But maybe resolution doesn't make a difference. Perhaps you're looking for a smaller TV with a great picture for under $300. The LB560B fits right at home in a spare bedroom or dorm room, won't break the bank, and will please people who don't need their TV to come equipped with a smart platform.
The LB560B isn't a knock-out performer, but if your needs are modest, it could settle into your home quite nicely.
A TV's viewing angle is how many degrees away from a head-on angle one can sit before the picture's contrast ratio degrades below 50%. This test is particularly important for people hoping to share their TV with friends, family, or roommates.
At 18° (or ±9°), the LB560B's viewing angle is not particularly impressive. That said, the 32-inch panel is small enough to mitigate this issue, since people most likely make this TV the centerpiece of a home theater.
There is an international standard for HDTV color production. When we test a TV's color, we're measuring how close it gets to matching these standards. There are three primary color points (red, green, blue), three secondary color points (cyan, magenta, yellow), and a white point. These color points are then plotted on a color gamut, which helps us visualize the TV's performance in this area.
The LB560B's color performance is admirable, but not without a few flaws. Prior to calibration, its green point is oversaturated and its red point skews too far towards yellow. Although I was able to correct green with the TV's color management system, red just didn't want to get in the right spot.
A TV's gamma sum represents how evenly it allocates its luminance from black (0 IRE) to peak white (100 IRE). We calibrate our TVs to 2.4, which is ideal for a darkened room.
Prior to calibration, the LB560B maintained a gamma of 2.26. Upon adjusting the gamma slider in the TV's menu software, the TV achieved an almost perfect gamma sum of 2.41.
Meet the tester
Senior Staff Writer@Reviewed
Michael Desjardin graduated from Emerson College after having studied media production and screenwriting. He specializes in tech for Reviewed, but also loves film criticism, weird ambient music, cooking, and food in general.
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